Don Santa, president and chief executive officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, today explained that while President Trump repealed the White House Council of Environmental Quality’s Obama-era climate guidance for National Environmental Policy Act reviews, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will continue to consider environmental consequences – including climate change – in its NEPA reviews.
“INGAA supports the direction signaled by the new executive order, including the rescission of 2016 CEQ guidance relative to NEPA reviews. This executive order returns agency NEPA guidance to long-established precedent. There appears to be some misinterpretation of the impacts of this executive order as it relates to the repeal of the Obama-era climate guidance for application of NEPA.
“For pipelines, NEPA continues to require FERC to issue an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment – depending on the scope of the pipeline project – as it considers the need for the pipeline. This new executive order returns the scope of the climate review to that which existed before the 2016 CEQ guidance was issued.
“INGAA is reviewing this executive order. In general, we agree with the purpose of provisions to develop domestic energy supplies and build the infrastructure to fully utilize these resources. Along these lines, we hope President Trump will also name new FERC nominees soon, so the commission can return to a quorum.”